Ok, this may seem a bit odd, but I was wondering if there were any laws about whether a pharmacy can change your pills (who they get them from) without first notifying you. Here's the deal; I go to the local pharmacy here in town to get my prescriptions filled. But lately they have been making me wonder. I have to take iron pills since I'm pregnant and anemic. The first pills they gave me were small red ones. Then after a few refills, they gave me big red pills. Now today after getting it refilled, I now have a bottle of big blue pills. Every time, the pills do not have imprints. Can a pharmacy do that to it's patients/customers? Switch between manufacturers? This isn't the first time they've done this to me. Before I got pregnant I had to take sucralfate for stomach problems. The pharmacy at first gave me white pills. Then later on, switched them to blue pills that did not work the same. As far as I "know", the pills are all the same BUT are they allowed to change them on me like that? I have never had this problem with companies like Walmart. I'm guessing since it's a local pharmacy they are trying to get the cheapest pills possible. Tomorrow I'm transferring my prescriptions to Walmart. I may have to drive a ways to get there, but at least I'll have peace of mind.
Can a pharmacy change pill manufacturers on you without telling you?
- 11 Aug 2012 by ajgarrett
- 13 August 2012
Hello ajgarrett. Unless it is specified that a non generic (name brand) be given on the prescription a generic is used. Generics differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. Yes, price is an issue for the pharmacy. However, be the pharmacy small town or chain, they all when it comes to generics, purchase what is (usually) the best available price available to them. Thats what makes the world of generic drugs so competitive. The price. Regards pledge
All pharmacies do this, including the big chains and walmart. Its good business practice to them, because of the money factor. My pharmacy will call attention to the fact that the pills look different but they are the same, but they don't have to. You just lucked out with walmart before.
They all switch to the one they can make the most money, but most pharmacy's do have the common courtesy to tell you, when they change the shape or size, so that you know. If not, do a search online and make sure you are getting what you paid for. Medicines are nothing to mess around with. The best way is to open your prescription when you pick it up, if it is different, then ask for the pharmicists and he/she will tell you right then, that way you will be at ease.
Ok, thank you all for your responses. My main concern is getting the pills without imprints, thus I am unable to verify them through the pill identifier. I don't like that. Messing around with my pills while I'm pregnant is a no-no! Thanks again. :)
Iron tabs are considered more of a supplement (even though they are Rx) so they may not fall under the law about imprints. In the US, all drugs must have identifying imprints but supplements and vitamins do not. No, pharmacies do not have to tell you when they switch manufacturers. Many pharmacies will go with the company who gives them the best price on whichever generic. It also depends on the pharmacies supplier and who they get the best deal from. Walmart has HUGE buying power so they more likely deal with large amounts from the same supplier. Mom and pop pharmacies (and even other chain pharmacies) dont have near the buying power Walmart does so they must go with the best deal they can get and they buy in much smaller lots so they will change manufacturer much more often! Some pharmacists are better at notifying their customers that the pills look different or that they are using a new manufacturer.
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